Friday, August 25, 2006

Cow Scaring for Dummies

Thursday 24th

When I visited Ravenglass yesterday I found a postcard that showed me how I could have repelled cattle while walking the Hadrian's Wall Path last week. Every walker should have a pretty bonnet, red parasol and matching outfit in their walking kit! Of course there are undoubtedly some aggressive Edwardian voguing postures that must be learnt to be properly effective in warding off curious cows.

Postcript: Reuters via Sydney Morning Herald says:

Keep your distance. Avoid eye contact. And even if it looks cute, never hug a Swiss cow.

Responding to numerous "reports of unpleasant meetings between hikers and cattle" along Switzerland's picture-perfect alpine trails this summer, the Swiss Hiking Federation has laid down a few ground rules.

"Leave the animals in peace and do not touch them. Never caress a calf," the group's guidance, posted on the website, reads.

"Do not scare the animals or look them directly in the eye. Do not wave sticks. Give a precise blow to the muzzle of the cow in the event of absolute need," it continues.

Evelyne Zaugg of the Swiss Hiking Federation said that while there were no precise statistics on incidents involving cows, walkers are reporting more run-ins than a few years ago.

Drove back to London today, stopping in briefly at Sedbergh in the Yorkshore Dales, England's first booktown. I found two bookstores and two "half" bookstores, but not enough to tempt me to stay longer than an hour. After that it was a fairly quick and uneventful ride down the M6 and M40 to London, until I hit a very sluggish North Circular Road at Wembley.

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